Moto Guzzi plans V12

Dailies -



While visiting Mandello del Lario for Moto Guzzi’s 90th birthday celebration this weekend, a brand representative let slip news that a new model range is set for unveiling later this year. Combining Guzzi’s largest (current) engine and smallest frame, the V12 will adopt the looks of the V7 classics, but ditch the 48bhp, 744cc v-twin in favor of the new 1,151cc, eight-valve motor from the Griso. That could potentially more than double the V7’s power; the Griso makes 110bhp and 75lb/ft of torque.

The V12 range is a part of Piaggio’s revitalization plans for the storied Guzzi brand. Speaking during an impromptu sauna session on the shores of Lake Como, Piaggio Group chairman, Roberto Colaninno, stated Guzzi plans to release a new model every year into the foreseeable future. Piaggio intends to treble Guzzi’s volume over the next couple of years, from its current level of roughly 4,200 annual sales globally. A new production line, being built on a newly-empty lot on the grounds of the existing factory, will help make that goal a reality.

Next year, that new model will be the all-new, 1,400cc Moto Guzzi California, which was shown to dealers in prototype form in January. Miguel Galuzzi, Piaggio Group’s VP of design, tells us that the California will enter production late in 2012. The V12? That could be unveiled this fall.

The above image was an unidentified frame from a promotional video aired in the sauna and intended to promote Moto Guzzi’s future model plans. It appears to show the 8V motor under a V7-style tank. That motor is identified by its valve cover and the presence of an oil-cooler.

New in 2009, the 8V v-twin is a substantial improvement on Guzzi engines of old. Not only is power increased from 88bhp to 110bhp and torque from 65 to 75lb/ft, but noise, vibration and harshness are vastly reduced. Fire up the new engine and you hear a powerful exhaust note, not mechanical clatter. It does that without losing Guzzi’s traditional character, just now your hands won’t go numb from vibration.

Swapping the mid-size 90-degree twin into the V7 won’t simply be a matter of bolting in the larger motor though. It’s our understanding that the current frame and components would be unable to handle the additional performance. Whether this means an all-new frame or simply bracing is currently unclear, but we do expect, or at least hope, to see beefier shocks, forks and a switch to dual front brake discs. Like the V7 range, which includes the Classic, Cafe Classic, Racer and soon the Scrambler, the V12 should encompass more than a single model.

  • nick2ny

    Biggest name -> engine configuration letdown ever! :)

    • HammSammich

      HAHAHAHA!!! I saw the title and thought the same thing at first! Still exciting, but not quite as tantalizing…

    • Thom

      Damn Wes , you caught me out as well !!!!

      Here I am getting all excited that M-G is gonna build a V12 engine ( M/C or automotive , I wouldn’t of cared ) and then …….. its just a moniker for their next model .

      Bad Form Wes !!! Or a least a bad joke on us ….. unintended of course .

      Sheesh . This’n ill take the rest of the day to get over !

      Thanks fer nuthin ! :o)

      ( rassum fassum dad burned Itralian pains in the ass )

      • nick2ny

        Next week Kawasaki plans to unveil their new “three liter, twin-turbo V16 80-valve quad overhead cam KLR,” which sports a 650cc single, as ever, ya cheap bastard!

    • Scott-jay

      1st thought: How could Guzzi make such a silly move? Is it a one-up to history’s V-8.
      Whew. : )

    • Barry

      You obviously don’t speak Guzzi… it’s a strange accent for sure.

  • Rydre

    Are they talking about the V12 concept line from about a year back?

    If so Italy is about to get a couple of my K for their soon-to-be-all-too-necessary bailout. Italy stopped having a chance at getting my money when Ducati moved away from the classic monster, but Galuzzi’s Moto Guzzi designs are some of the few new-motorcycles that have caught my eye.

    But then I’ve always had a thing for South American beauty.

    • Wes Siler

      Nah, they decided not to go in that direction style-wise. Not to say there won’t be more futuristic Guzzis some time soon, but it sounds like they’re staying retro this time around

      • Ganesh

        The Strada is so brilliant that I am tempted to buy a V11 Lemans and try to build it even though I have no skill. Standard looking bikes with rational seating, decent passenger perch, top shelf sportbike quality suspension, frame and brakes – am I the only one who wants this?

        • Wes Siler

          Nope and plenty of people are very happy with their Street and Speed Triples.

      • Rydre

        Too bad – guess I’m back to waiting for the guys at Mac Motrocycles to build something buyable.

        • Jesse

          Have the guys at Mac figured out what they are going to use to power their creations? I heard something about a substitute for the Buell engines…

          • Rydre

            Last I’d heard it sounded like they might go with second hand Buell engines. It’d be great if they could find something not-used, but I’ll take what I can get.

            • Chris Hunter

              Mac are taking soooo long to get their sh!t together I honestly can’t see them ever getting a production bike out the door.

  • Myles

    I’m all for more motorcycles that look like motorcycles.

    • Guilherme


  • Terry

    Another double-take at the headline here; I had myself a little Neo “Whoa” moment pondering what a V-12 Guzzi might look like…

  • dan

    As this news is released, working on a real retro custom idea for a Telaio Rosso redux minimalist style. What the V7 Cafe racer should look like. Nice old Tonti frame, LeMans motor. One off.

    • Thom

      @ dan

      Got a website showing your progress ? If so toss up the link . Thats sounding mighty interesting

      Or better yet forward some photos to Wes and convince the man to toss up an article here .

    • John
  • dan

    idea = thinking about (paying) for it. I was born handsome not handy

  • Rick

    How ’bout a modern LeMans, using the original ’76-77 as its inspiration?

    And if this new machine happens to have spoked wheels, please utilize MODERN spoked tubeless rim technology like BMW R-G/S or Aprilia Caponords have used for over a decade now. Forget the low-browed innertubes (hello, Ducati!) or the unreliable Stevio design (with an O-ring at every spoke nipple)

    C’mon now, you can do it.

  • paul

    Well I think this is fantastic news even if the title was a little misleading. The V7 classic was a nice bike but many people were put off by the smaller donk, The griso motor is a lovely beast and I look forward to seeing it housed in something that speaks of their heritage, it has the capability to blow every other retro release of late out of the water. If they get this right I will buy one in an instant. It sounds like Guzzi have been listening to the current Guzzi owners and riders, Bravo !

  • Chris Hunter

    If the production bike lives up to the promise of the concept, I’d buy it. I just hope they keep the weight and physical size down — the Griso looks amazing in photos but is a bit of a barge in the metal.

  • motomoto

    You know, I read about this early today and have thought about it since. This might be the best idea Guzzi has had in a while (besides the MGS-01). You keep the purist happy but you pull in some new riders at the same time(and get the non purist Guzzi lovers happy again!).

    To make that happen they have to give it some proper forks, shocks and brakes to start with(the engine is already fantastic). Let’s think a bit more performance oriented here Guzzi. Also, what about the rear swing-arm? The standard CARC shaft drive they use now might look awful on a bike styled like this and the old school layout with no anti-jacking action would not be the best bet either. Maybe something more along the lines of Magni’s parallelogrammo – the best of both worlds?

    Essentially we’d be getting a modern day 1000s. It had all the charm of the 750 S3 and V7 Sport but with modern power and equipment(relatively). I’m in!

  • KR Tong

    1100 motor in a V7 frame… Im thinking it’s gonna look like these.

  • stempere

    “It’s our understanding that the current frame and components would be unable to handle the additional performance.”
    Why wouldn’t they just re-use the V11 frame?

    “noise, vibration and harshness are vastly reduced” so a V11 for pussies then?

    Anyway, more guzzi is always good news.

    • Racetrack Style

      The V11 frame needs to be tweaked so it has the same geometry as the Ghezzi-Brian Supertwin (for the “V12 Cafe”). As much as I like my V11, GB shows it can be much better.

      Aesthetically, the V11 frame probably wouldn’t provide enough of the retro cafe look. Guzzi could match (or exceed) Thruxton sales if they went with a Tonti-style frame….just make the wheelbase & rake/trail as close to the GB specs as possible. The Thruxton would promptly get hammered.

  • magrahamkp08

    That was just dirty…..i was hoping they were doing a 12 cylinder engine. bummed

  • Jay

    When Piaggio creates its very own Finance unit and takes back its own “paper,” then, and only then, will they move meaningful numbers of units with badges other than Vespa.
    And, there is the Dealer Network…do You know where your Gooses are cooked? Uh, let me think…hmmmm…somewhere in Indiana?